Have you been suffering from pain in your lower leg that occurs below the knee?
Then this may be a sign of shin splints also known as medial tibial stress syndrome. Shin splints will most often occur on the front outside of your shins known as anterior shin splits or the inside of your legs known as medial shin splints and will typically affect athletes especially those that are involved in running sports. Quite often new runners are at an increased risk of developing shin splints due to undertaking too much too soon.
So what exactly does running too much too soon mean?
This means that some runners will not have a gradual increase in their millage, have a sudden change to their environment such as running surfaces or a complete change in activity.
Quite often there are multiple reasons that a person may develop shin splints including the following:
- Over-pronation- the muscles around the shins are involved in maintaining the arch of the foot. Over-pronation can pull at the tendons causing slight tearing to occur
- Over- supination
- Inadequate stretching
- Worn-out shoes
- Inappropriate footwear
- Excessive stress as a result of repeated movements or running on the same surfaces
- Overuse- running beyond your level of fitness
- Poor knee flexion
- Poor gluteal control
- Poor core stability
It has been found that the majority of people that suffer from shin splints do so on one leg, but it can also occur bilaterally.
Symptoms of shin splints may include but not limited to:
- Aches and pains along the shin bones
- Tenderness and sore to touch
- Overlying skin may be inflamed or reddened
- Pain felt before, during and after running
There a 4 stages to an overuse injury that may occur
- Discomfort that disappears during warm up
- Discomfort that disappears during warm up but present at the end of activity
- Discomfort that gets worse with activity
- Pain and discomfort all the time
During stage 1 you may continue activity as long as condition does not worsen. At stage 2 your activity will have to be modified so that you are pain- free and to allow treatment to continue to occur. At stage 3 and 4 all activity must be ceased immediately.
While having shin pain does not always mean that you have shin splints it could also be a sign of compartment syndrome which results in increased pressure causing the muscles to swell within the closed compartment or, a stress fracture of the lower leg.
If you are suffering with shin pain, please book in to see one of our friendly podiatrists who will address all your concerns and formulate a tailored treatment plan for your needs.
You can call us on 8645 9800 or,